Air conditioning market shows recovery and growth

UK: Germany and France have seen double-digit growth in the split air conditioning market as the world begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest 6-monthly update from UK consultancy BSRIA on market trends for key air conditioning markets across the world shows 2021 has been a year of recovery and growth as businesses and individuals have started adapting to the constantly changing circumstances.

The high-wall splits market is said to have benefitted from high temperatures in some regions and from investment in residential homes, as people continue to work fully or partly from home when they can. The data centre sector is also going strong, with continuing benefits from online shopping and construction activities, tourism and public investments.

While many dealers in China stocked up before raising prices, the government’s restrictive measures against Covid-19 are said to have restricted commercial activities. In the first half of 2021, the market performance of light commercial air conditioning such as ducted, cassette and high-power capacity floor standing units are reported to have remained sluggish. 

Sales in India in Q1 2021 were promising, but BSRIA reports that the second wave of the pandemic came at the worst possible time for the splits market (mid-April) and lasted long enough to hit sales during the peak sales cycle. 

China is scheduled to implement energy efficiency upgrades from January 2022, but BSRIA says it is still not certain whether these will be postponed in order to allow more time for the local producers to adjust. There are also reported to be some delays on many ongoing projects which kept the chiller market partially subdued.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has implemented the most stringent energy-saving standards in order to combat the fast-growing electricity demand. In the UAE, the cost of raw materials, custom tax and freight costs are reported to have increased significantly, resulting in a price hike of around 5-10% for all air conditioning products. 

In Europe recorded positive sales in high-wall single splits in the residential market in the first half of 2021. Germany and France recorded double-digit growth in the split market, while the chiller market in Italy is said to be showing a strong indication of recovery. However, in Turkey, the dramatic drop in the new construction industry has had an impact on the central plant market. 

The high wall market in Australia is also said to have recorded a double-digit increase in the first half of the year. 

In the USA, the unexpected surge in demand of splits was met by a dwindling supply. A global shortage in chips and semiconductors and a general lengthening of lead time for most components have created bottlenecks in the supply chain. In Mexico, with most large projects suspended or delayed, most of the chillers market growth was in medium sizes and in the air-cooled market. In Brazil, despite the economic and pandemic related crisis, ventilation and AC managed to keep afloat. Mini VRF is currently preferred in a modular form, while sustainable and profitable sales growth is expected by all chiller manufacturers.

BSRIA